(Click here to read the facts about bottled water.)
Only 0.37% of the Earth’s water is drinkable.
We ALL need water to live.
California’s not the only place with a water crisis (Northern California provides much of the state’s water, but Southern California uses most of it)– the world is battling with a water (and energy) crisis (whether you believe in global warming or not, we’re depleting our resources much more rapidly than we are replacing them).
The United States is one of many countries blessed with clean drinking water (aka tap water) yet we spend billions of dollars on bottled water (the quality of which is often worse than tap water, since it’s not regulated– apparent if you’ve ever drunk Arrowhead). Each bottle of water we buy is not only costly to our wallets but to our environment (and also to our health– there are various toxins in all kinds of plastics, which is why even using a plastic reusable bottle is not as advised). Click here to watch the Story of Bottled Water.
And that’s not all. Many day-to-day activities use much more water than most people think.
Each time we…
- flush a toilet, we use 5 gallons of water. It might seem disgusting to some of you, but “if it’s yellow, let it mellow”– if you own your own place, seriously consider only flushing when absolutely necessary, or flushing with excess tubs of water. It really isn’t required to flush every single time, especially if you drink a lot of water and honestly have to go to the bathroom a lot. (Like me.)
- take a bath or shower, we use 40-50 gallons. Turn the water off when you’re shaving or sudsing up! Take shorter showers.
- run the dishwasher, we use 15 gallons. Wash only full loads, or, better yet, wash by hand (saves 5 gallons, but still uses 10 each time). Wash first and then rinse all your dishes at once.
- do a load of laundry, we use 30 gallons. It’s best to only do full loads of laundry once or twice a week instead of every day. (I never even knew people did laundry every day until recently!) There are many energy-efficient laundry machines available, too, and most detergents are extra strength, so only half or less of a cup will clean a large load!
And unrelated to water but very much related to energy (and ultimately the Earth) as a whole, if you want to save energy, drying your clothes on a clothesline saves a LOT of energy! You don’t need a house or even a backyard to do it!
- wash the car, we use 50 gallons. Not only that, but the toxic chemicals we use to wash our cars drains out into rivers and the oceans and act as pollutants. Even if it seems “cheaper”, there is an enormous cost to the environment. Actually getting a professional car wash actually helps save water; they’re required to recycle the water, and they also don’t dump into the drain that ends up in the clean water that we need to play and drink.
- water the lawn, we use 300 gallons. Three hundred!! Not just a movie, if we water the lawn EVERY DAY we’re using 300 gallons on that alone! And the sad thing is, grass isn’t indigenous to many areas, thus we have to use more resources to conserve it. Like sprinkling water all over the sidewalk to water the tiny strip of grass that serves as decoration on roads and the islands in the middle of them.
(One big criticism of San Diego is that it’s naturally a desert climate yet the city uses gallons of water merely to be decorative, soaking mostly concrete in the process.)
What are some more ways to save water?
- Turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth. What’s the point of all that water running anyway? It’s not making your teeth any cleaner, that’s for sure.
- Use a reusable water bottle. This alone saves you countless dollars while helping the environment.
- Recycle. This is too big a topic to express in one bullet point, but do recycle water bottles, if you must buy them!
- Fix leaky pipes as soon as possible, and turn off dripping faucets. Just one drop every few seconds costs a lot after only a day– both to you and the environment.
- Save the water you use when washing food or taking a shower (or bath!), and use it to water your plants or flush the toilet!
What are you doing
to help conserve water?
If you want to help others save water (and sustain the Earth) too, please link, email, bookmark, share, and tweet this post.
Thank you, always. (And the Earth thanks you, too!) ♥
Thank you University of California San Diego/Scripps Institute of Oceanography Professor Driscoll (SIO35: Water) for the number of gallons of water per activity chart.
- the easiest steps you can take towards a plastic-free life